Grants from the Park Acquisition Opportunity Fund assist regional park agencies to acquire land for the regional parks system. Opportunity grants are intended for purchase of land within Metropolitan Council-approved regional park and trail master plan boundaries. These grants finance up to 75% of acquisition costs (up to a maximum per park agency) and require matching funds to finance 25% of the costs.
The Met Council must approve grant requests made by regional park agencies before the land is acquired.
The Park Acquisition Opportunity Fund has three sources:
- State funding:
Parks and Trails Legacy Fund: 10% of this legacy fund is set aside for land acquisition through the opportunity grant program.
Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund: The Met Council applies for direct appropriations from the trust fund for land acquisitions through the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). This permanent fund was constitutionally established by the residents of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Currently, 40% of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to growing the trust fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.
- Met Council funding:
- Council bonds: For every $3 in legacy funds or trust funds from the state, the Met Council matches with $2 in regional bonds.
Opportunity grants are noncompetitive and awarded based on funding availability. We award grants on a first-come, first-served basis in the order of eligible and complete applications.
Each regional park agency is eligible for up to $1.7 million in opportunity grant funding per fiscal year from each of the two state fund sources. The maximum amount that each agency can receive from this program is $3.4 million per year.